For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, an electrifying thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife.
When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...
But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.
There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.
Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets.
There always are in a marriage.
The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published: February 16th 2016 by NAL
Three and a half stars: A suspenseful page turner that will leave you pondering.
Jean peers through the curtain as yet another reporter knocks on her door. Why won't they go away and leave her in peace? Her husband, Glen, died last week, and Jean just wants to be alone. Her life has been a nightmare for the past couple of years, ever since the police knocked on her door, wanting to question Glen regarding the disappearance of a two year girl. During the the questioning, the trial and the backlash from the media, Jean remained the perfect wife, standing firmly by her husband's side, but now that he is dead, does she have a story to tell?
What I Liked:
- The Widow is a quiet, suspenseful page turner that will draw you and keep you captivated until the final pages. If you like a good mystery and a solid story, this is a good book to pick up.
- This book is told via five perspectives: the widow, the detective, the reporter, the mother and the husband. For those of you who struggle with multiple view points, this one is easy to read as the chapters are all labeled so you always know who is narrating the chapters. Also the widow's chapter, Jean's, are all told in first person. I think everyone will have their favorite voice, and for me, it was the detective. I was fascinated by all the police work and how dedicated he was to solve the crime, even to the point where it interfered with his personal wife. I found all the voices interesting, and I liked that they each had something to offer.
- The overall mystery is solid and thrilling. It starts in 2006 when a young, two year old girl is snatched out of her front yard. What follows is a three year investigation which eventually leads to Jean's door. The story moves back and forth through time starting in 2006 ending with the husband's death which occurs during the first chapter of the book which takes place in 2010. I was riveted by the mystery, and I couldn't stop reading as I had to know what happened to the little girl.
- One thing that I appreciated was that this book didn't delve into the horrifying details regarding the kidnapping and abduction. The victim is only two years old, and I was relieved that disturbing details were not revealed. The author does a nice job of giving you the bones of the event without straying into the too much area.
- This book is being marketed as a psychological thriller. This book lacks the big gotcha moment, but it still works because it makes you think. This is a story of a women who thought she has a wonderful husband, but when the police knock on her door, her world begins to fray, as she learns her husband's dark and disturbing secrets. What was he really doing all those nights on the computer? This is a book that exposes the horror of internet stalking, pornography and the dangers of social media. This book will make you think, and it will haunt you long after you finish the final pages.
- Even though the ending wasn't the jaw dropping finale I hoped for, it tied off all the loose ends, and I had all the answers that I needed. No loose strings or unanswered questions. A satisfying conclusion.
And The Not So Much:
- This book is being tagged for fans of thrillers like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. I never buy into comparisons, and I can assure you if you are picking this up hoping for a book that reads like either of the Girl books, you will be disappointed. This book, in my opinion, isn't a psychological thriller, it is a murder mystery with plenty of suspense, but it lacks that big punch.
- I was riveted to the story, but I have to admit, I thought the end was a bit of a fizzle. Yes, the story concludes well, but I was expecting more.
- I was disappointed that there was not more from the husband's voice. There are only a couple of short snippets from his view point, and I found myself wanting to know a bit more about what made him tick and what drove him.
The Widow is a book that will certainly have readers talking. It is a well done, suspenseful mystery that will stick with you after you finish the final pages. However, if you are looking for a jaw dropping thriller, this will likely not do the trick for you. Still it is solid story and a interesting mystery, one that you will need to set aside some time for, as once you start reading, you won't want to put it down.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.